This is a photo of 2022 Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt Lecturer David Brooks.

2022-23 Guest Speaker: David Brooks
Columnist, The New York Times

Education and Civic Purpose in a Polarized Society

Weber Chapel Auditorium
Monday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.

David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face to face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and quiet passion. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. He holds several prestigious positions as a commentator:

  • Bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times
  • Regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered

David’s New York Times bestseller, The Road to Character, “explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed,
and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. In a society that emphasizes success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book
about inner worth.”

In his most recent book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (Random House), David explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community.

His previous books, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement, uses the story of a fictional American couple to explain the importance of neuroscience and sociology in understanding America’s politics, culture, and future.

His other books, Bobos in Paradise and On Paradise Drive are in a style he calls “comic sociology”—descriptions of how we live and “the water we swim in” that are as witty and entertaining as they are revealing and insightful. Bobos in Paradise was a New York Times bestseller.

David is currently teaching a course at Yale University. He holds honorary degrees from Williams College, New York University, Brandeis University, Occidental College, among others. In 2010, Brooks became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. David Brooks has worked at The Weekly Standard, joining the magazine at its inception and serving as senior editor. He has been a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for nine years in a range of positions, including op-ed editor.

About the Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt Lecture in Ethics

The Susquehanna University Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt Lectureship in Ethics seeks to bring to the university a distinguished scholar and/or leader to address a topic of current, vital interest and importance in the field of ethics. The goal of the program is to highlight ethical issues, across disciplines, and encourage thought and exploration of these issues among students, faculty and the community. The Selection and Planning Committee works with the selected lecturer to structure a program that would be topically current and that would engage students, faculty and staff in a meaningful discussion of ethical issues through a lecture especially designed to engage Susquehanna University students and prepare them for the future.

Edward R. Schmidt, J.D., ’69

This lectureship has been made possible through the generous gifts of Edward R. Schmidt ’69. In forming The Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt Lectureship in Ethics at Susquehanna University, Mr. Schmidt has emphasized his desire to impart to students an understanding and appreciation for the value and role of ethics in professional and personal endeavors. It is his vision that this lectureship will encourage and promote dialogue on ethical thinking in all areas of academic preparation and contribute to successful personal lives and professional careers upon graduation. Mr. Schmidt has named the lectureship in honor of his late parents, Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt, formerly of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, recognizing that the first teachers of ethics and moral behavior are parents. Mr. Schmidt’s father, Edward S. Schmidt, was Vice President & Corporate Secretary of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. Following his retirement, Edward S. Schmidt served as a founder and the first Administrator of the Pennsylvania Land Title Institute, a nonprofit educational entity providing continuing education to the land title industry throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Edward R. Schmidt, SU Emeritus Board member, received his B.S. in Economics from Susquehanna University and graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1972. Mr. Schmidt is a retired partner of the Indianapolis based law firm, Krieg DeVault, LLP, where he chaired the Tax-Exempt and Nonprofit Organizations practice group and served as a member of the firm’s executive committee. Mr. Schmidt served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel-Secretary and was a member of the Board of Directors of USA Group, Inc., the largest guarantor of student loans in the United States. Mr. Schmidt remains active and interested in Susquehanna University where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2004–2020. He served as a Vice Chair of the Board and its Governance Committee, and as Chair of its Compensation Committee. He and his wife, Donna, are the parents of three adult sons, Jeffrey D. Schmidt, Esq., Todd E. Schmidt, M.D., and Michael J. Schmidt, Esq.

Mr. Schmidt is a member of the Board of Trustees of Strada Education Network, where he served as Chairman from 2017–2020 and Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, Inc. He also currently serves as the Chairman of Healthcare Initiatives, Inc., an Indianapolis based charitable foundation and as a member of the Law School Advisory Council at the University of Notre Dame. He was a founder and Director of MetroBank, of Indianapolis, and a past Director of Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc.; Crossroads Rehabilitations Centers of Indianapolis; Fairbanks Hospital; and Title Industry Assurance Company. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association. He is a member of several bar associations, including the Indianapolis Bar Association where he has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow.

By funding this lectureship, Mr. Schmidt recognizes and salutes Susquehanna University and its faculty and staff for the profound and formative experience he received while attaining his degree.

Past Visitors

  • 2021-22: Anne Barnhill, Ph.D., “The Ethics (and Legitimacy) of Vaccine Requirements”
  • 2019-20: Allison K. Hoffman, “How Economics Fails Health Law and Policy”
  • 2018-19: John M. Baer, “Ethical Challenges to the Fourth Estate”
  • 2017-18: Donald M. Remy, “Sports Ethics: The Risk of Getting It Wrong”
  • 2016-17: Walt Pavlo Jr., “Stolen Without a Gun: Insights Into White-Collar Crime”
  • 2015-16: David Casarett, MD MA, “The Ethics of Medical Marijuana Use”
  • 2013-14 Lecture: Signe S. Gates & Matthew A. Phillips, CPA
  • 2011-12: Kenman Wong, Ph.D.-“Bottom Lines for the Bottom Billions: The Role(s) of Business in Ending Poverty”
  • 2010-11: John Strangfeld-“You’ve Got Choices”
  • 2009-10: Karen E. Bohlin, Ed.D.-“Education’s Role in Building Character”
  • 2008-09: Michele Goodwin-“Organ Trafficking”
  • 2007-08: Deborah Johnson-“ Watching and Being Watched in Cyberspace”
  • 2006-07: Judith Daar-“Controversies in Reproductive Medicine: Selecting and Protecting our Children’s Future”
  • 2005-06: Murray Sperber-“The Dark Side of College Sports and College Life: A Look at the Ethical Concerns That Undermine and Challenge Undergraduate Education”